Galena volleyball falls to Fallon

FALLON - After dropping two High Desert League volleyball matches on the road last week, the Lady Wave found there is no place like home to break a modest losing streak.

Fallon maintained its composure in the third and fourth sets Tuesday to down the Galena Grizzlies, 25-15, 17-25, 25-23 and 25-21, at the Elmo Dericco Gym. The Wave improves to 18-4 overall, 2-2 in league.

Galena is also 2-2 in league and 8-7 overall.

"In the third and fourth games, we held our own," said first-year coach Monica Meihack-Schmutz. "We stayed consistent and didn't panic.

"The girls did a great job."

The two HDL rivals split the first two sets. The Wave, though, grabbed a quick 4-0 lead in the third set on four service points from Paige Olivo. Sustained serving including two aces from Alyssa Meihack also staked Fallon to a seven-point lead.

Forced errors from both teams began to control the game's tempo. At one time, Fallon held its largest lead, 19-9.

Galena chipped away at the lead on a 6-0 run as libero Bree Crook pinpointed her serves. Even after Fallon broke Crook's service, Erica Ward stepped in and helped the Grizzlies slice the lead to two points, 21-19.

Allison Smith had two crucial blocks, and a Greenwave net violation tied the set at 23. Fallon scored the final two points on Galena errors.

As with the previous set, Fallon jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the fourth game, but the Grizzlies stayed close because of three Fallon errors. Smith had an error and block for Galena to cut the Wave's lead to 8-7.

Both teams struggled with their play as the score was tied twice. Fallon snapped a 14-14 deadlock and began to pull away on Tosha Nunes' backward return and kill.

Casey Burke, who had 10 kills and nine digs, helped Galena tie the match one final time at 19. Nunes then took over and had two kills and a key return.

Nunes, who had 16 kills, said her play picks up against Galena.

"It definitely was one of my better games," said the senior outside hitter.

Nunes and Chelsea Hejny worked the outside for Fallon, while Black and Nelson had numerous blocked shots.

"I'm pleased with our front row. We established the middle and right side, and that opened up our outside (for hitting)," Meihack-Schmutz said.

Meihack said another key to the win was the defensive play of libero Kloei Humphrey.

After the two losses at Manogue and McQueen last week, Meihack-Schmutz said she was pleased with Fallon's intensity in the first set.

"We came out strong, especially coming off a tough week," the first-year coach said.

Black and Nunes combined for four kills early in the first set to give Fallon a 12-8 lead. Galena tightened the lead to 15-13 before Fallon scored six unanswered points on two Black kills and another from Nunes.

Alyssa Meihack's kill on the 25th point gave Fallon the win.

Fallon and Galena were locked in a close second set until the Grizzlies put together an 8-0 run, courtesy of six Fallon errors. Galena kept building on its lead to win by eight points.

Burke had five blocks, Crook had 12 digs, Rebecca Pate had nine kills and 19 digs, Allison Smith had seven blocks, Megan Fincher and Kimbery Naut each had five blocks and Emily Aguiar added eight kills and six digs for Galena.


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